For those who might still not be aware of it, in January of this year, some of the top Cava producers left the DO:
While this would have seemed to be major, decisive black mark against Cava, it's come to light that the two mega houses of Freixenet and Codorníu will be significantly dropping the already small price they'll be paying for grapes in the upcoming harvest:
There are still some good houses within DO Cava, but you really, really need to look hard for them at this point. As it sits, I just fully overhauled a local restaurant's menu and took out all DO Cava references in favor of Corpinnat and Clàssic Penedès (covered at length on Guildsomm here)
Not sure how others feel about Cava now, taking this into account?
Miquel Hudin Where does Cava Paraje sit for you in this situation? I know you wrote about it in your article but I'd like to hear how your thoughts have evolved.
As a buyer, all of this really doesn't clarify anything for me and makes it extremely difficult to sell premium sparkling from Spain. I've found that it's easier to sell premium English sparkling than it is Spanish.
Cava de Paratge (Paraje) is essentially null and void. When the Corpinnat group left, they basically took all the top-quality classifications with them. While it still exists in Cava, it doesn't really have the teeth that it did.
Miquel Hudin This is interesting news. Was there any specific event that spurred the decrease or that they're using as justification (other than excess wine from the previous vintage)? Is it directly related to the Corpinnat producers leaving the DO? Do you think that big Cava is anticipating a drop in bottle price amidst a weakening DO Cava "brand"? 30% sounds significant - Is there usually volatility in grape prices year to year and if so, what magnitude of change is typical? I read your article and I'm curious for any context you can add. Thanks!
There's not usually much volatility and in general, prices typically run slightly higher year over year.
This biggest change that's happened is Freixenet and Codorníu being owned by international firms since last year and one can only assume it's simply their bean counters looking at costs and seeing where they can squeeze more profit. Because honestly, if you have too much stock (which seems a questionable excuse), you just buy fewer grapes, not decide to pay significantly less for them.
I seriously doubt it has anything to do with Corpinnat. After they announced their departure, Cava held a press conference where they stated, "Cava is more than Corpinnat" so they don't really care given that mass-market Cava is a completely different market than the high-end bottles.
In case anyone wanted to read about the latest developments on this side of Cava Land: www.hudin.com/.../
Cava is on track to being the “Antonio Brown” in the wine world right now.